Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Options...we got options!

Since we started our new worship schedule in January, we've had two different worship services with an identical sermon.  But not this Sunday. 

In the 11:00 service, Disciple Now weekend will wrap up.  D-Now is an intense weekend of spiritual growth for our teenagers, including worship, small group Bible study, a local ministry project, and recreation.  The theme this year is "Identity."  Be in prayer for the students involved in D-Now, and get ready for worship led by guest worship leader Jake Fauber, and a message from our D-Now speaker, Joey Dodson. 

The 8:30 service will be more familiar.  I'm preaching a message (unconnected to my current series) called "Habits of Unspiritual People."  Here's a little preview:

A while back, I pondered preaching a series I was going to call, “The Biggest Losers of the Bible.”  I was going to talk about all the people the Bible presents as failures, negative examples who missed God's plan.  I had quite a list of characters.  Some were real villains, the type we like to boo and hiss at in the movies, like the Pharaoh in Exodus, Jezebel, Haman, and Caiaphas the high priest.  There were also people who were not necessarily evil incarnate, but for one reason or another they left God’s path, and paid for it.  These would include Cain and Judas, Ananias and Sapphira, among others.  King Saul belongs in that second group, too.  He’s definitely the bad guy in the story of David’s rise to the throne.  But he’s a pitiful figure.  We don’t hate him, we weep for him.  As I think about those big losers of the Bible, I see that they have some things in common.  This Sunday, we'll look at the story of Saul’s shocking fall, and talk about the characteristics of those who fail spiritually.

You may recall back in the early nineties Steven Covey wrote a book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Businessmen and educators and pastors and all sorts of other people devoured this book, just as they devoured Jim Collins’ book Good to Great a few years ago.  The book was about the practices that separate mediocre people from successful ones.  One example I remember is that Covey said that whereas most of us hoard letters, memos, newspaper clippings and other clutter, effective people only touch a piece of paper once.  They read it, the deal with what it says, and they throw it away.  Covey’s ideas all seemed like small things, but he asserted that they made the difference between success and failure.  In the same way, people who fail spiritually often have many things in common with those who succeed in pleasing God.  But there are certain habits that spiritual losers have that lead to their downfall.  Looking at these people collectively, I want us to identify six habits of highly unspiritual people.

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